We can attribute the reasons for the Mariner’s inactivity over the past ten days to a myriad of factors, but the most important is a stagnant trade market. General Manager Justin Hollander recently commented on this anomaly with MLB reporter Daniel Kramer.
"“I can’t remember a Winter Meetings in 15 years when there’s that little trade activity,” Mariners GM Justin Hollander said. “ We had a GMs, presidents meeting upstairs today with the Commissioner and some of us were talking before, and nobody can remember a Winter Meetings that was this quiet, like universally, on the trade front.”"
While spending is at a premium and trades are on the back burner, things might change soon, and some intriguing names are coming out of the Twin Cities.
Striking a Deal with the Twins for Luis Arraez
The Minnesota Twins are in the market for impact pitching, and they’ve floated some exciting names out of their clubhouse. The AL Batting Champion, Luis Arraez, and veteran outfielder, Max Kepler, are available.
The 25-year-old utility man checks many boxes on Hollander’s offseason shopping list. First, acquire an infielder who can play both corners. Check. Can we have that bat be a left-handed element? Check. Can we also make sure this player knows how to control the zone? Check.
Luis Arraez doesn’t provide much power, with only eight homers, but he possesses elite bat-to-ball skills, which this team lacked last season. The 25-year-old utility man was one of the toughest batters to strike out (8.4%). In addition, he had a higher walk percentage (8.7). Arraez reflected this advanced approach in his slash line of .316/.375/.420.
CF – Julio
DH – Arraez
1B – France
RF – Hernandez
3B – Suarez
2B – Wong
C – Raleigh
LF – Kelenic
SS – Crawford
Tell me that wouldn’t look good in the two spot of this lineup.
Playing Chess with Luis Arraez
The front office and Manager Scott Servais value versatility on their roster. They’ve repeatedly said players like Dylan Moore and Sam Haggerty make lineup construction easier. The team could lump Arraez in that category, as he has played third, second, and first base in his major league career.
He isn’t flashy in the field but is serviceable on the left side of the diamond (-15 OAA over a 5-year career). Fielding coach Perry Hill could work wonders with him, just as he did with Suarez in 2022. That versatility would allow for off days for Eugenio Suarez, Kolton Wong, Dylan Moore, and Ty France. Having a chess piece with this hit tool would open many opportunities for Servais.
The Trade Package for Luis Arraez
Batting champions with three years of control who barely sniff their prime only become available for trade sometimes. That means the cost could be too high for the average fan or, more importantly, Hollander, and President of Baseball Operations, Jerry Dipoto.
But if the team can’t acquire NL All-Star Bryan Reynolds from Pittsburgh, they must look elsewhere for an impact bat. Again, Luis Arraez sounds like a solid option.
It’s time to deal with the Twins and check those boxes on the Mariners’ offseason shopping list.